chapter  12
12 Pages

Soldiers without orders, actors without stages

Carlos Manuel Varela’s Interrogatorio en Elsinore and Bosco Brasil’s Novas diretrizes em tempos de paz
WithKatya Soll

In Carlos Manuel Varela's Interrogatorio en Elsinore (Interrogation at Elsinore), the lead Actor from Hamlet's play-within-a-play has been arrested for his role in Hamlet's conspiracy to overthrow the government. His interrogations and torture run parallel to the second half of the Shakespearean play, whose events we hear about secondhand from the Interrogator. The parallels to Bosco Brasil's Novas diretrizes em tempos de paz (New Directives in Times of Peace) are striking. Both plays respond to contemporary contexts of dictatorial repression: Interrogation premiered near the end of military rule in Uruguay, while New Directives was written after the last dictatorship in Brazil. The chapter explores the intersections between these new and classic texts and the history of recent dictatorships in Uruguay and Brazil, in order to understand how the plays define theatre's role in the construction and interpretation of society's memories of repression.